Punjabi food is wholesome and full of rustic flavour. The custom of cooking in community ovens or tandoors prevails in rural pockets even today. The cuisine is characterised by a profusion of dairy products in the form of malai, paneer and dahi. The dals are a speciality of this type of cuisine, made of whole pulses like black gram, green gram and Bengal gram. They are cooked on slow fire, often simmered for hours till they turn creamy and then flavoured with spices and rounded off with malai for that rich finish. The food is simply delicious.
The most unique thing about cooking in a tandoor is the smoky flavour that the food gets making it tastier. Moreover it is a healthy way of cooking since minimum fat is required and the food generally gets cooked in its own juices thus retaining its natural flavours. Besides it is not only easy to digest, it is also very hygienic. In conclusion one can safely say that it is through tandoori cooking that Indian cuisine first got globally acknowledged.
Split black gram flour (urad dal ka atta) soaked overnight 2/3 cup
Split Bengal gram (chana dal) soaked overnight 1/3 cup
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder ¼ teaspoon
Pure clarified butter (desi ghee) 2 tablespo
Asafoetida a pinch
Garlic chopped 1 tablespoon
Ginger chopped 1 1/2 inches
Green chillies 2
Onion chopped 1 large
Tomato chopped 1 large
Kashmiri red chilli powder 1 teaspoon
Garam masala powder 1/2 teaspoon
Fresh coriander leaves Chopped for garnishing
Place the split black gram and Bengal gram with 4-5 cups water, salt and turmeric powder in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on low heat till 5 whistles. Cool the dal and grind half of it into a paste.
Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in a non-stick pan. Add asafoetida, garlic and ginger and sauté till garlic is golden.
Chop green chillies and add. Sauté well. Add onion and sauté for 2 minutes or till it is translucent.
Add tomato, mix well and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add red chilli powder, a pinch turmeric powder and garam masala powder, mix and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
Stir in the cooked dal and ground dal paste. Adjust salt, mix well, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add 1 teaspoon ghee, garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot.
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